Tags: Digestive Problems | olive | oil | fights | ulcerative | colitis

How Olive Oil Fights Ulcerative Colitis

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Jun 2015 07:45 AM


Consuming more olive oil could help prevent the painful disease ulcerative colitis, according to a 2010 study by researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.

The study found that people with the highest consumption of oleic acid -- a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil, peanut oil, and grapeseed oil, as well as in butter and certain margarines -- had up to a 90 percent reduced risk of developing ulcerative colitis compared to those with the lowest intake.

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Ulcerative colitis, which affects some 620,000 Americans, causes chronic inflammation and ulcers in the inner lining of the large intestine. Common symptoms include abdominal discomfort, gastrointestinal bleeding, and diarrhea. Ulcerative colitis can run in families and affects people of all ages, though it usually begins between the ages of 15 and 30 years.

Researchers led by Dr. Andrew Hart of UEA’s School of Medicine studied more than 25,000 people ages 40 to 65. None of the volunteers had ulcerative colitis at the outset, and they completed detailed food diaries. By 2004, 22 participants had developed ulcerative colitis. Researchers compared their diets with the diets of those who didn’t develop the disease. They found the risk of those with the highest intake of oleic acid was up to a 90 percent lower.

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"Oleic acid seems to help prevent the development of ulcerative colitis by blocking chemicals in the bowel that aggravate the inflammation found in this illness," said Dr Hart.

"We estimate that around half of the cases of ulcerative colitis could be prevented if larger amounts of oleic acid were consumed. Two-to-three tablespoons of olive oil per day would have a protective effect," he said.

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Consuming more olive oil could help prevent the painful disease ulcerative colitis, according to a 2010 study by researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. The study found that people with the highest consumption of oleic acid -- a monounsaturated...
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